>> bret: mitt romney has a big win just three days before super tuesday. this is "special report". good evening. i'm bret baier. mitt romney picked up a major boost to his presidential campaign, taking first place in the washington state caucuses. the initial west coast contest of this season. we have fox team coverage. carl cameron is in cincinnati, ohio, ahead of super tuesday. we begin with correspondent dan springer who is live in seattle. good evening, dan. >> yeah. good evening, brett. with 62% of the vote here in washington state counted in the straw poll today, mitt romney has a lead with 37% of the vote. a short time ago, he issued a victory statement that reads in part, i'm heartened to have won the washington caucuses and i thank the voters for their support.
every day that passes with barak obama in the white house is a day in which america's recovery from the economic crisis is delayed. here is how the other three candidates faired so far. ron paul at 24%. with rick santorum also at 24%. and newt gingrich at 11%. it was a day with a strong gop turnout here. it was a record turnout for the washington state republican caucuses with lines so long at some precinct, not everyone who showed up made it inside to vote before it was over. part of the strong showing is due to timing. washington state always had voted after super tuesday. also for the first time in years, there is no primary. so the only way to have a say was to caucus. and that drew tens of thousands who want to change presidents and for many, mitt romney stands the best chance. >> he has the best opportunity to defeat president obama. so that's my focus is november. >> ron paul had the best organization. volunteers have been ringing
doorbells and making phone calls for months. he also was the only candidate to stick around for the results. getting treated like a rock star when he showed up at a caucus site. >> he's energizing a different base that's not excited about party, but excited about principle. >> santorum continues to do very well among christian conservatives. >> we love his values. stand on family and country and we just love him all the way. >> all of the candidates showed up at least once in the state. newt gingrich went to eastern washington. rick santorum made it here twice. and mitt romney had a big crowd when he swooped in the day before the caucus. during the lead up to today, the polls showed romney with the momentum. according to public policy polling, santorum had an 11-point lead two weeks ago. two days ago, it was romney on top by five. there is a real battle for second place here in washington state with just a hand full of votes separating ron paul and rick santorum.
ron paul told the crowd here in seattle that his fight for delegates will continue right up until the state convention when they are in early june. the other question is will mitt romney get a big bump heading into super tuesday from this win here. brett? >> bret: we'll talk to ron paul in just a bit. dan, thank you. now let's look ahead to the big super tuesday contest coming up. more than 400 convention delegates will be in play that day. one of the biggest states, ohio. chief political correspondent carl ram ron is live -- cameron is live in cincinnati. good evening, carl. >> a little chilly. the buckeye state will be the battle ground. now romney has new momentum from his washington win as he heads down ohio's stretch. rick santorum today hammered mitt romney for a 2009 usa op ed suggesting the president would learn a thing or two from romney's massachusetts health care plan. >> whether it's health care, whether it's cap and trade, whether it's bailouts, whether
it's just the role of government in your life, governor romney has a very, very bad track record of being for government type solutions. >> romney denies suggesting massachusetts be a model for health care. santorum is ineligible for 18 of ohio ace 66 delegates. >> what i can win is delegates and hopefully get the most here. you would like to have the support of the people of ohio. delegates is what it's all about. we're going around, getting the delegates we think we have a shot at picking up and want to get the nomination. >> santorum is being outspent and outorganized and not on the ballot in virginia at all because of filing difficulties and is ineligible for 46 delegates there. that's not going to make the difference in this election. our people are passionate. our people are coming to the
polls. i think that's going to make the big difference. >> romney is likely to win the overall delegate race, losing the popular base in ohio would be seen as a sign of weakness. for santorum, losing the popular vote and delegate race would be a major setback. among other things, it could give newt gingrich an opening to mount a comeback. he's favored to win the prize in georgia and hopes it will propel him to win more wins to squeeze past santorum and be the romney alternative. gingrich will spend super tuesday night in georgia. mitt romney will be in boston. rick santorum will be in soup beville -- stupenville, ohio, which is in one of those congressional districts he won't be on the ballot. they joke it's a metaphor for his ailing candidacy. >> bret: we head out to ohio tomorrow. let's bring in our panel. a.b. to docard. thoughts on
this win and how it breaks down. charles? >> it's a significant win for romney in washington. it shows the limits of intensity. i think it speaks for ron paul. this was his one shot, this was the place he wanted to come home with a victory and he's way behind by about 13 points or so. he could end up third behind santorum. but i think for romney, what it says is he's maintained the momentum that he gained last week and up until now, whenever he's had the momentum after he did well in new hampshire or in florida, he has not been able to put it away with a smashing success. each time he's lost. i think he's got another opportunity on tuesday if he can win ohio, i think that will be a severe setback for santorum and it would make him the prohibitive front runner. if he doesn't, the race will continue the way it's been going
until now. >> bret: some of the raw vote totals. ron paul is ahead of rick santorum by 12 votes. so there is a battle obviously for second place. but you do look at this state and you wonder how it factors in in the momentum game heading into super tuesday. >> well, it didn't slow romney's momentum definitely, because now he's starting to pick up a bunch of wins. but i think everyone is looking at super tuesday. they're primarily looking at ohio. if romney can't win ohio, then that's going to be another blow. so if santorum can win it, obviously it will give him a rationale to kind of keep on moving. then you have gingrich focused on georgia, which yes, has the most delegates of any of the states, but at the same time, it is ohm one state. i think it is his home state. so it starts to look like, okay. is this -- if you can only win this state and you can't really turn this around and overtake the santorum spot, do you really have a reason to keep running? >> bret: what's interesting, steve, in some of the early results, romney had a big lead and those were a lot of eastern
counties of washington, which traditionally have been more conservative, which the romney campaign could look at that perhaps and say they see some good things. >> we didn't have exit polling tonight. the story -- >> bret: or entrance polling. >> the story of the campaign so far has been romney's inability to get above 35, 38% among very conservative voters, people who self-identified as very conservative or strong tea party supporters. we don't know whether he did that. but there are geographical indications that he might have done better than people expected. in he did that, it's a very good night for mitt romney. the fact that there is no interruption in this pattern and that if nothing else, it's not a breck in his momentum. he came out of arizona and michigan having done well there. he survived in michigan. he did very well in arizona. he'll do well. he probably will do better in delegates than anyone else on super tuesday and if you start to see a pattern, i think there comes a growing cry from people
both inside the establishment and rank and file republican voters who say, we really want to start turning our attention to barak obama (a.b., there was an expectation came this morning from rick santorum, kind of dialing back expectations in washington, although earlier he said he was going to surprise a lot of people in washington state. newt gingrich did spend some time out in washington, as did all four of these candidates. ron paul the most. >> right. ron paul, as i'll repeat myself, continues to underperform his polling and never won. we've always heard this is a state where he's outorganized everybody and never happens. the interesting thing for mitt romney is because all these guys hang in the race, almost 60% of the voters in every contest choose somebody else. however, rick santorum had to stop mitt romney in washington or he has to stop hip in ohio or his surge is over with and he has no chance to be the
alternative to mitt romney. we have talked a lot about how momentum in this race is easily reversed and redirected. the timing now is critical because while you had voters strongly resisting that romney is along this process for many years now, he's running for president for six years, early in the primary season, want to go make a statement and in south carolina, that was an historic statement that they refused to pick the nominee and they voted for newt gingrich who is not going to be the nominee. that was a huge moment. >> bret: a.b., painting with a broad brush. it's saturday. we're just bringing it to the table. >> i think we're going to see the beginning of a pattern. i think people in these late states want to join the winning band wagon and they're changing their minds and i think the momentum continues. i'd be surprise fundamental it didn't. >> bret: up next, i'll talk one on one with congressman ron paul, plus, later why only half the remaining republican candidates made the super
tuesday ballot in virginia. >> i believe in free markets and free people. i don't think government should control our lives, whether it's the state or federal level, particularly in a key area where you are dependent upon your life for what government is going to allocate to you. >> right now we got a president who says he wants to fundamentally transform america. to turn us into something we're not. i don't want to become like europe. europe doesn't
talked with congressman ron paul following the announcement of the washington caucus results. i asked him about not winning washington state despite putting time and some money out there. congressman paul, thanks for being here. it looks like at this hour, it's a neck in neck battle for second place. what's your reaction to, well, not winning washington state? you spent some time and some money out there. >> well, i did, but i wasn't making any wild predictions. we're always hopeful. i think we're going to win the delegates. someone came up and said, they came from their precinct and there were only eight people in the precinct and seven were for romney and one paul voter. we ended up getting the delegate. it's the process you have to know about and we will be getting a lot of delegates and we've done this before and we will continue to do it. who knows how many delegates we'll get out of washington? but we're comfortable about our strategic plan is to go after the delegates because that's who votes at the convention and we'll continue to do it. >> bret: explain that for
somebody at home, congressman. somebody who doesn't get this. we tried to explain it in layman's terms that this is nonbinding tonight and that they have other conventions, district, county. >> state, where they eventually pick the delegates. you're betting that your people are so loyal to you that they'll be going through all this process. >> yeah. they hang in there and they stay because if you vote, you can walk out and you're errorred. but if you stay and stay for the meeting, then you'd be selected to be a delegate. i don't think it's anything brand-new, but it's sometimes they ignore the rules, but most of our supporters read the rules and they insist that the rules be followed. >> bret: eventually, you have to win a state. right? >> well, depends. i guess if you're going to win the nomination, yes, you better win the state or two. but you know, we're in the race. we have super tuesday coming up.
i'll be leaving here shortly to go to alaska. that's another caucus state. wracking up delegates is a good strategy. but yes, you eventually are going to have to win some states to become the nominee. >> bret: so looking immediately to super tuesday, do you see a state that you could potentially win there? >> they're all potential. i'm not making my predictions. i didn't predict tonight. no, they're all potentially winnable. but a lot can change. you've seen other candidate goes up and down. i know it's a real challenge, but that's what i'm in it for, for the challenge. that's why we have the enthusiasm, we got the support. get the money in. and the young people, you know, are so enthusiastic that yes, something could happen, but i'm not making any of the projections. >> bret: last thing, for your supporters, what do you tell them about your ultimate goal
here and your path to the nomination? >> the goal is to win the nomination. to win the nomination, you have to have delegates and we win delegates, most of the places we go. we don't win enough, but there is no reason to think that you can't build up momentum and win even more. >> bret: for all the talk about you in cahoots with mitt romney in some way, shape or form, the ad you ran in washington state called him a flip flopper. so i guess you were drawing a line there? >> well, the ad wasn't brand-new. that came out of an earlier ad. so those in the media who were trying to get a story going about some deal going on, i mean, that was just somebody desperate for a story. we used that early on. i think it might have been a combination. but early on we did put that ad out about him flip flopping because everybody knows he has been a flip flopper. but that's not a whole lot different because i put the
other three candidates in one category and of course, the biggest thing i think the american people ought to know about is how much santorum is a fake. he is not a conservative and yet, a lot of people still think he's the conservative alternative to romney. to me, that's a real joke. >> bret: congressman paul. >> thanks so much for your time and we'll see you down the road. still ahead a look at the gingrich campaign and its strategy with a report from atlanta. plus, we'll talk about what happened in washington state and what to look for on super tuesday with ed rollins and bob beckel. >> whether or not the government has the power to dictate to religious organizations. >> we're watching the president divide america right now, but we're one nation under god. if i'm the president of the united states, i will bring us together, keep america strong,
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>> bret: welcome back to this saturday night edition of "special report." the reason we're here, today is washington state caucuses. the numbers continue to update at this hour. mitt romney was the big winner in this first of the west coast nominating contests. he had all the way today. ron paul and rick santorum, though, are battling it out for second. you can see those numbers changed moments ago. newt gingrich was a distant fourth in washington state. let's get some analysis from both sides of the political spectrum. bob beckel joins me here in washington. ed rollins is in new york. ed, let's start with you. thoughts on the night and a look forward to super tuesday. >> a big victory for romney. this is not the traditional kind of place that he wins.
this was a place that paul had big expectations and romney is now on a roll. i think that he basically will have a good day on tuesday. he obviously wins virginia almost by default. the only one who loses in virginia is the taxpayers who have to pay $3 million for two guys on a ballot which romney will win. i think the ohio race is really the key here. if he wins ohio and he's moving, he's got momentum on that race, then i think it's pretty much over. >> bret: bob, you agree with that or are these other candidates, santorum, gingrich, are they still in the hundred here? >> i'd go a step further. i don't like to say it for all the political junkies, but this race is over. barring some major event that we don't foresee, romney, yeah, ohio is very important for him. this is the super tuesday ought to be a time for a big campaign. he's been through many of these and so have i. you have multi states where the guy with the best money and best organization tend to do well. in romney's case, he's got the ho-hum races like virginia,
massachusetts, vermont, and idaho, where there is a electoral college amount of moreman population. it really comes down to ohio. win ohio, it's not even a question if it's over. i think, though, he'll get more delegates 'cause santorum is missing three districts there. this race, believe me when these things start to move ahead like this, we're about to move into the winner take all phase, april 1. at that stage of the game, there is 126 super delegates for the republicans. they'll start to fall. the momentum picks up and the money drives up for the other -- dries up for the other people. >> bret: i think it's nine districts that santorum does not qualify for. what does that mean? >> it means romney -- it's got to be a close race. but it means romney will more than likely win the delegate count and he'll get a big chunk of the delegates out of virginia. there is 400 and some odd delegates available there. he will have a lead in delegates
that will be almost insurmountable. ed rollins, you go into proportional representations. winner take all made more sense. >> bret: ed, this has been a complicated process, has it not? >> it has been by a combination of things. one being that there has never been a total affection among conservative force romney. we had two candidates who, if they could combine to have one, you'd have a real race here. but gingrich faltered, santorum faltering today. i think at the end of the day, what we have to start doing is creating a little love fest here. there is a lot of bitterness as you see by ron paul and others and we've got to sort of bring this party back together to be strong in the fall. so the quicker romney gets this thing over, the better for all of us. >> bret: ed, you look at newt gingrich and you praised some of his past efforts, especially in south carolina and all that went down there. he's looking at georgia. he weapons big in georgia. let's see he does, and according to the polls, it's a double digit lead. is there a way to mount some
ininsurgent candidacy? >> the problem is none of them have put an organization together. both gingrich and santorum have had opportunities. they've both led at different points in time. but they're running on the super pac money and the super pac money can give you television, but it can't give you the ground game and it can't give you the resource to be in multiple states. we're no longer one on one. everything is several states at the same time and i don't think they have the resources to go there. >> bret: bob, the gingrich campaign? >> if he doesn't win georgia, niece reason to stay in the race. but ed makes a good point. since they have so many caucuses, without organization, i don't know if romney lost a caucus state yet. but organization -- >> bret: iowa. >> iowa. that's right. i forgot he won and lost. but the point is, if you remember barak obama, the margin between his victory over hillary clinton was winning in caucuses. and he was organized. and that's one thing that you could say about romney. the problem with romney is it may take a much longer time to
bring the conservative base around and if you do, the question i guess also for ed is, there is those evangelicals in southern ohios that we campaigned through, i'm not sure you're going to get the turnout for romney that you would otherwise for a pure conservative. that's the problem. >> bret: santorum won iowa, minnesota and colorado, which all three caucus states. >> okay. >> bret: back to bob's point. >> the critical thing is you got to make the case against obama and you got to make it strongly in the fall. and primaries are different. caucuses are different. and obviously the fall campaign. we got to get our party back together. the quicker we got this over, the better we are. this has been a different process than we've ever had beforement it's not worked very well, most people would agree with that. i think it will be changed in the future. but right now, romney is on his way, i think. >> bret: bob and ed, thank you so much for your saturday night. >> thank you. >> bret: it's saturday night. thank you. >> brett?
>> bret: yes. >> i appreciate you correcting me. >> bret: correcting you on a saturday night. >> correcting me on a saturday night. >> bret: by the way, you're a tremendous lead in. >> thank you so much. >> bret: when we come back, we will tell you which candidate is the beneficiary of an aggressive grassroots campaign in ohio. >> it's an important day for next year's election and important day to start the process to make sure that we no longer have obama for president next year. >> this president when he was running for office said he would cut the deficit in half. cut the deficit in half. he's doubled sometimes life can be, well, a little uncomfortable, but when it's hard or hurts to go to the bathroom, there's dulcolax stool softener. dulcolax stool softener doesn't make you go... it just makes it easier to go. dulcolax stool softener. make yourself comfortable.
see here. ron paul and rick santorum still battling it out. ron paul having a bit of a lead there for second place. newt gingrich is a distant fourth. ten states will hold nominating contests tuesday. super tuesday. 419 convention delegates are at stake. we're going to look at some of the states in play on super taught. first up, correspond sent shannon breen goes down the road to virginia, a place notable for who is not competing as who is. >> some virginia voters don't think next tuesday is going to be so super. that's because their ballots will offer them only two choices. mitt romney and ron paul. >> i'm upset. feel like my choices have been limited. >> it's tricky. >> why does virginia have it so tight? >> who is to blame? the candidates who weren't able to successfully navigate the state gop intricate qualification rules or party itself for crafting them that way? >> we went back and looked over two decades and we've never had
an issue of a candidate not submitting the necessary required signatures. so it's unfortunate, but only two campaigns did reach the legal threshold. >> several contenders who failed to make the ballot joined forces and filed a lawsuit they ultimately lost. forget write in votes. they aren't allowed. that means newt gingrich won't have a shot at any of the commonwealth's 46 delegates on tuesday. >> what really matters is the voters of virginia. they ought to have the right to choose among all the major candidates and the process that was so convoluted that only two candidates run before actually made it. >> it's possible months ago, many assumed the nomination would be settled by now. rick santorum's campaign didn't even attempt to qualify in virginia. but political analysts say history proved overlooking even one delegates-rich state could cast a candidate the nomination. >> if you go back to the last super close republican convention, the ford-reagan
convention in 1976, the tiny number of delegates that separated ford who won and reagan who didn't, could really be attributed to reagan's lack of filing full delegate slates in several parts of the country. it made the difference. it determined the nomination. >> one group frustrated by the lack of options on the gop primary ballot in virginia has announced it will actually hold a separate vote of its own. setting up voting locations across the commonwealth with a ballot listing all legitimate candidates shortly after the official primary. in washington, shannon breen. >> bret: newt gingrich will be trying to make up for lost time in virginia with a breakout performance in the state he represented. georgia. jonathan has that story. >> it's do or die in georgia for former speaker newt gingrich. >> georgia is a state he needs win big. he needs a huge headline out of georgia, very, very strong either in the high 40s or 50% of the vote or so.
that would be a signal that gingrich is back as a serious candidate. >> rick santorum, a catholic, has been courting social conservative voters, although there is speculation mitt romney's mormon religion may alienate some evangelical christians, gop insider ralph reed says common values are more important to the voting bloc than theological differences. >> the irony is that there is no stronger commonnallity really on values and public policy than there is among mormons and evangelicals. >> reed also says social conservatives like redemption stories, and may be more forgiving of gingrich's past marital problems. >> the story of the gospel for evangelicals is not i'm perfect and you're a sinner. it's we all come up short. we all make mistakes. and that's why we need a forgiving god. >> tea party activist says romney's business acuemen is a plus, but his support of romneycare may be a nonstarter for many in her group.
>> at the end of the day, they don't want a mandate whether it's from the federal government or the state government. >> for her, the ideal president would stand for fiscal austerity. she recalls gingrich's budget stand-off during the clinton administration. >> when washington was saying, you know, you're going to shut the government down, he said shut it down. and he did that because he knew it was the right thing to do. >> many voters we talked to in gingrich's old congressional district recalled the speaker fondly, but say the choice on tuesday won't be easy. >> i voted for him when he was our representative and i did like him. i think politically he has to down. i think as a personal person, he's got too much baggage. >> they're trying to find common ground monday fiscal and social conservative in hopes of winning a majority, which would avoid splitting the delegates. in atlanta, fox news. >> bret: as we've been saying, ohio is considered the super
tuesday crown jewel by many. steve brown reports on how that contest is shaping up. >> rick santorum in a key super tuesday bat until ohio found some help. >> we've got great grassroot support here in this state. >> he's benefiting from existing ohio social conservative networks. >> we're americans and we're proud of it! >> the susan b. anthony bus, fresh off 22 stops in michigan, will be back this weekend. >> it's a huge state, but a rolling billboard is very powerful and encouraging to people that care about life, marriage and religious liberty. >> well-known conservative activist says the grassroots intensity surprises him. >> the little of activity is because we have a candidate that truly believes in what we believe in. pro-life, pro-family, all the way down the line. >> burris says grassroots fervor trumps money and lots of money is being spent on the air by the
romney compare. >> i'm mitt romney and i proved this message. >> the vast majority attack ad, targeting santorum for votes supporting government funded family planning. >> even though i don't support it, but i voted for bills that included it. >> the romney camp dominates ads spending. four to one versus santorum. more than five to one versus newt gingrich. ron paul has opted out of spend not guilty ohio. while some ohio republicans flinch at the combative tone of the campaign -- >> i don't like the bickering. i think that deters from our -- the decision. >> the state gop chairman says it's really tough ohio primary. >> where they are strengthened and able to have their resolve tested and vetted through tough primary isn't always a bad thing. >> especially considering the tough ohio fight in the general election campaign awaiting the republican nominee against the president's reelection team, which has been working here for months, in its 19 ohio campaign
offices. steve brown, fox news. >> bret: we'll talk about today's washington caucuses and super tuesday, substance on the campaigns when our fox news all stars -- it's saturday night -- rejoin us after the break. >> obviously we see real opportunities here. there are a number of places where we have filed delegates and some other folks haven't. >> we have a grassroots network here. it's david and goliath. i get that. and you know what? i know who wins in the
grab on super tuesday. we have steve, we talked about the momentum and super tuesday. but what we haven't talked about on this panel and i touched on it with bob and ed. are the other candidates who look at that delegate number. scen percent - scen - 67 percent of the delegates are still up for grabs. >> it will be 32 percent will be awarded or decided or will be in the process via the caucaus states that are awarded and you will he candidates who say what is the moment? in the past the republican primary caucaus season. candidates who have won, there is a moment i am not going to be the nominee, it is now done
and they reconcile them with the fact they are not going to be the nominee and the person they are attacking. they are not that bad and think about okay, i will get out. there is not that moment in the caucaus and primary season because of the fact you have so many caucaus and porportionality and in the end of the process which you didn't have before and there is not the obvious moment for the candidates to say i can't keep going. all you need in the age of super pac is enough tomoney to buy the plane ticket and continue to campaign. >> if newt gingrich wins in georgia and close in ohio. can you see any of the candidates gets out? >> he has to win georgia. >> he said that. >> he wins georgia and if he doesn't win he should be out. but because of the super pacs
he can keep going. mitt romney needs to do what david did with obama and explain why this is ridiculous and actually, i don't think. i am with ab on this. conjectory is for mitt romney. he will get a porportion and a minimum and it would be hard to over take him. they will stay in because they have the money. but then they will get pressure to get out because they are make difficult for the eventual nominee. >> it is happening at greater momentum now. party big wigs say it is starting to hurt us. do you sense that? >> i am sure they are saying that. >> not in your meetings? >> no, at midnight. mosting chanting. and slaughtering of young lambs.
they don't engage real -- issues. >> saturday night. and look, what i think is different now, and what is changing, there are no more debates and that is one of the thing that is was able to keep the ones in the back of the alive to have a hope . that's how those who are running behind emerged, but in the absence of that, living off of the land in the past, you go until the next debate and hope for a home run. what hurt santorum the most before last week was the debate held in lamesa, arizona. it was his worst performance and it would have been a chance to propel him. hoe had his stage and he was not able to come through. if you are a newt gingrich, what do you do after super tuesday. i might win alabama and missouri and go to kansas.
what happens in kansas? it is not as if they have a pack. in the absence of the debates, the pressure of the establishment and the fact that you don't want to go on indefinitely of what is ordeal if you are not going to make it. >> looking at the organization of mitt romney, he is going to have a good night in ohio. rick santorum has a lot of voters in ohio and ineligible for 18 of 63 delegates at this point. he could win i the -- the popular vote. he will contend with problems like this. and at some tonight the super pac donors who are keeping newt gingrich and santorum alive they ultimately want to beat obama. now there is no one left . no more mitt romney
>> talking about mike huckabee's forum with three of the four remaining gp candidates very interesting and over two hours. steve, one of the most interesting moments i think most people looking for two hours thought that the emotional moment between the questioners and mitt romney was different than what we have seen. >> that was the best moment of
the forum and best moment from mitt romney. he took a question from a small businessman in missouri who asked mitt romney about his son who had a brain injury. romney was choked up. it was a different kind of cadense for mitt romney and the way he answered it. he was not stilted or word about the worries. he just answered the question. he showed sincerity that he hasn't shown and that is the big rap on him and look at the way he answered both in terms of the substance and i want to help your son and people like him. and the way he answered the question was natural and it showed a side of mitt romney who critized him for being inauthentic. and he was genuine to me.
the panelist all noted that, too. >> it was compelling. even mitt romney's critics agree that he is accomplished and he is capable. but he doesn't connect. he is a great debater and didn't used to do be. he's not good talking to voters. he gets nervous and not confident and he was right. it was as if he was talking to his wife and alone . it was smooth and he never was halting. he locked eyes on this father and even later, he had another question from the same small business owner and man who choked up about his son just about business and regulation and taxes and it was the best case he's made that i have seen of his business men credentials to be the president of the united states and something he needs to do more of in other settings because he is six years inac
ward on stage. >> charlie said he was impressed by all of the candidates, but he mentioned santorum and newt gingrich in getting details. a lot of the debates, you get one minute answers and this forum got into debails was economics. >> i think mitt romney did that with the speech he gave. unfortunate stadium in detroit was big stage and maul audience . it was a brave plan about cutting entitlements and taxes. he's serious about that. and i think he's got a good program. it is always about his persona. he's not spectacular. but he is steady. he is the tort osiore and five times he had a hare run pass and he is the one that progresses. he never prints and leave
distance behind him. there is a sense that this is a guy who could be acceptable to everyone in the party except some the paul followers, i suspect. but unlike others they will get grudging acceptance. he can be acceptable . it doesn't look as if the other candidates are in that position. >> there are people who will look at the state's results and say in washington state. 64 percent of the folks voting did not vote for mitt romney. they look at all of the folks who are not backing mitt romney say there is something there. how do you respond to that? >> he's not the person that gets all of the people in the base fired up. it continues to be true. machine who does well in moderate voters that is not a terrible thing if he gets through the primaries. he gets through the primaries
he's in a strong position at that point, he hasn't locked himself into really extreme positions i guess that will hurt him in the general election. >> democrats would say immigration is going to hurt him. >> it depends if immigration is a issue. i think economic situation will be the focus. >> panel, thank you for giving us your saturday night. final thoughts when we return.
mitt romney captured the win in the washington state caucaus. first west coast event of the season. now on to super tuesday. our coverage monday when special report goes on the road. we'll be in cincinnati, ohio with all of the latest news thav state and the other super tuesday. and then special coverage. primaris and caucaus start at six eastern. it should be a interesting night. thank you for inviting us in your home. that's it for this report. fair, balanced.